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B2b Insight[2]

  1. 1. B2B Marketing Insight 2008 MARKETING PUBLISHED: February 2009
  2. 2. Published February 2009 B2B Marketing Insight 2008 Marketing industry network ContaCts niCky unsworth Chairman gordon young Director gordon.young@carnyx.com Marketing industry network Mark gorMan Mercat Building Head of Network 4th Floor mark.gorman@marketingindustrynetwork.com 26 Gallowgate Glasgow keith PriCe G1 5AB Head of Content keith.price@marketingindustrynetwork.com t: 0141 552 5858 F: 0141 559 6050 riChard drayCott e: info@marketingindustrynetwork.com Editor, The Drum richard.draycott@carnyx.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, eMMa stewart electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording Business Development Manager or any information storage and retrieval system, without Direct Dial: 0141 559 6069 prior permission in writing from the publisher. emma.stewart@carnyx.com Copyright © Marketing Industry Network 2009
  3. 3. B2B Marketing Insight 2008 A research project into current trends and attitudes within UK business-to-business marketing Produced in conjunction with Sponsored by
  4. 4. CONTENTS Executive summary 03 Introduction 07 Section 1 State of the market 13 Section 2 Targeting customers 19 Section 3 Marketing channels and techniques 25 Section 4 Digital marketing 33 Section 5 Marketing effectiveness 39 Section 6 Environmental issues and corporate social responsibility 45 Section 7 Marketing data 49 Section 8 Branding 55 Section 9 Keeping up-to-date in B2B marketing 59 Appendices 1. Detailed profile of respondents 64 2. Author biographies 71
  5. 5. Executive summary | 0 Executive summary www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  6. 6. 0 | Executive summary Executive summary B2B Marketing and Gyro International wanted to create a definitive picture of the rapidly emerging B2B marketing sector, to help practitioners develop their marketing strategies in an increasingly challenging market. The key findings are summarised below: State of the market The B2B marketing sector once again demonstrated that it is a confident and buoyant part of the marketing industry, with 91% of companies describing themselves as ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ confident. The sense of optimism enjoyed by B2B marketers almost certainly relates back to marketing budgets, which have increased for the majority over the last 1-2 years. 57% of respondents said their budget had increased, of which more than half said their budget had grown by more than 20%. Respondents also suggested that optimism would continue, with two thirds expecting budgets to continue increasing over the next 1-2 years – again, half by at least 20%. Marketing channels Digital media continues to increase in popularity, although the survey suggests that traditional channels are far from redundant, and in some cases may even be experiencing a resurgence. E-mail marketing was confirmed, once again, as the most popular marketing channel for B2B marketers, as well as the most effective. 76% of respondents currently use e-mail for marketing purposes, with 17% citing it as their most effective medium. But whilst e-mail may have stolen the limelight from traditional channels, direct mail in particular remains a popular route to market, utilised by 71% of marketers. This is despite the fact that only 4% regard it as their most effective route to market. Looking ahead, e-mail marketing and search look set to benefit from the biggest increase in investment, with 60% expecting to raise budgets for e-mail marketing or e-newsletters in the next 1-2 years. This compares with 33% who will increase investment in direct mail, the second most popular response, whilst 29% who will focus more on search and 24% on events. The fact that 60% of respondents are concerned about ‘inbox clutter’ suggests that the growth of e-mail is unlikely to continue at its current rate, and that marketers may even become more selective with this channel in future.
  7. 7. Executive summary | 0 Measurability Transparency and accountability of marketing activity is on the rise, according to the research, with 56% stating that they can track and measure the effectiveness of all campaigns – up from 50% in 2007. A hard core of 15% still remain unable to measure the effectiveness of any of their campaigns. E-mail is generally considered to generate better responses than traditional DM, with a response rate of up to 22% on certain campaigns. By contrast, the best DM campaigns are only likely to bring in 12%. ROI is still regarded as the primary success criteria used to evaluate the marketing function, but despite this less than 50% of respondents have systems in place to measure the effectiveness of such campaigns. Education, training and knowledge management Two thirds of B2B marketers believe they are reasonably or very well informed regarding advances in digital marketing techniques. However, actual usage appears more limited, and a significant information gap remains. Only 46% of respondents are using digital techniques either ‘to a great extent’ or ‘to a certain extent’, whilst 39% of respondents claim to be using digital techniques either ‘not a great deal’ or ‘not at all’. Publications continue to be the primary source of information on new developments in marketing (cited by 85% of respondents), although websites and events are becoming more significant. Events were cited by 67% of respondents, up from 55% in 2007. Environment and corporate responsibility The preoccupation of consumer marketers with environmental issues and corporate social responsibility has yet to translate to the B2B sector. Only 34% of companies currently claim to have an operational CSR programme, whilst less than one third currently promote their environmental credentials to B2B customers. Brand Attitudes to branding amongst B2B companies remain mixed, with both understanding and recognition of the importance of the issue varying widely. Three quarters of respondents suggest that brands are as important in B2B as they are in B2C, but less than a third have a clearly defined brand values system, and only 34% have a corporate brand architecture. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  8. 8. 0 | Executive summary
  9. 9. Introduction | 0 Introduction www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  10. 10. 0 | Introduction Evolving challenges in the world of B2B Danny Turnbull, General Manager, Gyro International It’s just over a year since we carried out our first B2B Marketing responsive media such as direct and digital, with falling Insight research, and I’m very pleased to be associated with this expenditure on press. Conventional channels are still important for the second consecutive year. tools in the B2B marketer’s armoury but it is digital that represents the largest growth opportunity with over 40% of In the 16 years that I have worked in B2B communications, marketers stating that this is not currently being best used, an I have seen the industry grow from the old ‘trade and tech’ issue linked to a lack of understanding of the media. This does days when it was perceived to be a poor relation to the more not surprise me and represents an important opportunity or glamorous B2C sector, into an extremely sophisticated and challenge for digital media providers to address. competitive multi billion pound, global industry. Latest estimates from Keynote report suggest global expenditure on B2B Whilst B2B budgets are perhaps less substantial than those in marketing is £11.3 billion per annum in the UK alone. B2C markets, it’s good to see they are being increased and it would seem that this correlates with both more formal budgeting Both Gyro International and B2B Marketing have their roots very and a drive towards marketing accountability. However it’s firmly in this specialist sector and the B2B Marketing Insight amazing that over 50% of our sample still don’t measure return Report underlines our commitment to increasing the formal on marketing investment, and link this to an inability to do so knowledge base in this sector. (another famous quote struggling to get out!). And whilst the Whilst the B2B sector has become increasingly crowded, research shows the importance of brands in this sector is the rush of new entrants has done little to improve the formal increasingly being recognised, only 7% of respondents measure knowledge base which, though extremely well researched at the strength of these! an academic level, still suffers terribly in terms of credibility, This report highlights a number of other challenges our cohesiveness and rigour at the cutting edge. industry faces, some of them perennial and others emerging. I’m heartened to see that the quality and spread of respondents It is disappointing to see a lack of control of customer data has improved year on year which is, I’m sure, a reflection of the and the resultant unsophisticated targeting. As a marketing improving stock of the sector. It’s also particularly encouraging communications practitioner, I’m relieved to see that the that the sector is so gung ho about activity and expenditure over creation of relevant messaging is still such an important issue. the coming year as many of our counterparts in the B2C sector The importance of insight driven creativity is an enduring driver are reporting the converse. In fact I’m sure there is a famous for success within marketing, and it’s the companies that quote about what smart marketers do in a recession… can truly master this fundamental and basic skill of effective On the other hand it’s no surprise that expenditure is being communication that will continue to see success as our increasingly diverted towards the most quantifiable and market develops. danny.turnbull@gyrointernational.com
  11. 11. Introduction | 0 Knowledge is power Joel Harrison, Editor, B2B Marketing There are many ways to define and describe the role of Of course, I’m not suggesting it’s an unrewarding profession to marketing within an organisation: some of which are more be in – far from it! But I am seeking to highlight the importance accurate and more positive than others. Certainly a key of opportunities for marketers to learn from one another, and aspect of marketing’s role is to define the outward face of the understand the wider environment; particularly those in B2B organisation; to establish the manner and the tone with which it sectors. Providing a means to do just this is one of the primary communicates with customers, prospects and the wider world. motivators for this study. Of course, much of the actual communication will be conducted B2B Marketing Insight offers practitioners a rare glimpse into or executed by other departments – such as sales or customer the mindsets of colleagues from across the community, and service – but it should be marketing that sets the ground rules. allows them to measure their views and experiences against the And herein lies one of the great ironies of marketing. Whilst it wider market. To date it’s the only attempt to take a meaningful is the department responsible for defining how and when the measure of the key issues facing practitioners and their views organisation interacts with others, its practitioners typically on the future of their markets. As such, it should make essential struggle or are reluctant to communicate with one another. Many reading for anyone seeking to work in or understand this vibrant marketers effectively work in a vacuum: at worst isolated and and complex community. embattled within their organisation, fighting for relevance against I hope readers find its conclusions as engaging and thought- the abrasiveness of sales and the semi-autistic IT function. provoking as I have, and use it to help drive the evolution of their Consequently, the opportunities to learn anything of real value marketing strategies. And just as importantly, I hope it manages from peers are few and far between, particularly in B2B sectors, to make the B2B marketing sector just that bit more empowered where marketers may work in narrow, highly competitive and more connected. After all, working in a vacuum can get very niches, where information sharing with potential competitors is lonely – as the strapline from a Hollywood blockbuster once commercial suicide. The disparate and disconnected nature of read, in space no one can hear you scream. the various marketing trade bodies reflects this situation, with no single body representing the majority of practitioners, and campaigning for their interests. In short, there is no esprit de corps in marketing. joel.harrison@b2bm.biz www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  12. 12. 10 | Introduction About this report Background Methodology In 2006 B2B Marketing and Gyro International carried out a study The research took the form of an online survey of B2B Marketing into current trends and attitudes within UK B2B marketing. This subscribers, trailers and contacts. Potential respondents were was the most in-depth study of its kind to probe into the UK B2B e-mailed a closed link to the survey, which allowed them to start landscape, which the final data showed to be an industry turning the survey, and re-access it at a later stage if they did not have over just under £10 billion a year. This year’s report builds time to complete it in one sitting. upon the initial findings and aims to provide a more in-depth This method ensured that opinions were captured only once per knowledge of the issues facing marketers, and current focus respondent, and also enabled us to track who had completed points for the B2B industry. the survey and who hadn’t. This information was used to send reminder e-mails to those who had not yet taken part. An open Objectives link was also featured on the B2B Marketing home page to allow The objectives of this research were to: visitors to the site to take part in the research. Fieldwork took place during January and February 2008, and 192 respondents • Provide clear insights on marketing trends that can be used took part in the 20 minute survey. by practitioners to help enhance their strategies and the success of their organisation All results in this report are expressed as a percentage of the responses given, unless otherwise stated. • Provide meaningful insight into B2B marketing • Assess how the industry is evolving • Gauge practitioners’ understanding of key marketing issues
  13. 13. Introduction | 11 Respondent profile Respondents were all required to be marketing decision to B2B Marketing Insight 2007. More information on the profile makers in companies targeting a B2B audience. The chart of the participants can be found in the Appendix, starting on below summarises the profile of participants, and compares it page 63. Gender 200 200 Number of 200 200 Employees Female 46% 48% 1-9 2% 20% Male 54% 52% 10-49 31% 24% TOTAL 10 12 50-249 34% 26% RESPONDENTS 250 + 32% 30% TOTAL Age 200 200 12 12 RESPONDENTS Under 25 8% 7% 25-34 42% 37% Company Turnover (to 200 200 35-44 37% 36% nearest million) 45-54 9% 13% £1 million - 26% 55 and over 4% 7% £2-£5 million - 22% TOTAL £6-£10 million - 11% 1 12 RESPONDENTS £11-£40 million - 15% £41 million and above - 26% Salary Bands 200 200 TOTAL 12 12 Up to £20k 8% 7% RESPONDENTS £21k-£30k 21% 19% Scope of £31k-£40k 25% 18% 200 200 Business £41k-£50k 14% 14% Within the local area 1% 3% £51k-£60k 6% 5% Within the region 11% 10% £61k-£80k 12% 10% National/within UK 44% 36% £81k-£100k 6% 7% Extends to European 9% 13% markets More than £100k 1% 7% Extends internationally Prefer not to say 8% 14% 34% 39% /worldwide TOTAL TOTAL 1 12 10 12 RESPONDENTS RESPONDENTS www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  14. 14. 12 | Introduction
  15. 15. State of the market | 1 Section 1 State of the market A key objective of Insight was to gauge the level of confidence of the B2B marketing sector. Business-to- business marketers are gradually shaking off the ‘poor relation’ tag that has historically been attributed to them. The authors wanted to understand how confident marketers operating in the B2B sector are, and what’s been happening to their marketing budgets in recent months. Insight 200 confirms the finding of the previous year’s study, that B2B marketers remain confident about the future prospects for their organisation, and that marketing budgets are generally rising. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  16. 16. 1 | State of the market 1.1 Q Has your overall marketing spend increased or decreased in the last 1 to 2 years? 2007 56% 25% 15% 4% 2008 57% 26% 11% 7% Increased Stayed the same Decreased Don’t know B2B marketers remain bullish about the future, with 57% having seen an increase in marketing budget over recent years, while only 11% have seen this figure decline. This is broadly similar to the findings in last year’s Insight report. 1.2 Q By what percentage? 21% 1-10% 31% 23% 11-20% 19% 20% 21-30% 6% 5% 31-40% 6% 15% 41-50% 25% 1% 51-60% 0% 3% 61-70% 6% 3% 71-80% 6% 0% 81-90% 0% Increased 10% 91-100% 0% Decreased
  17. 17. State of the market | 1 1.3 Q Reasons given for the forecasted changes in marketing budgets include: INCREASE DECREASE • Business growth – marketing is valued within the company to • All budgets are being cut. create brand awareness, new customer acquisition and also • Based on business performance and rumblings by the board of for customer retention. a lack of proven ROI on the marketing spend to justify anything • Aggressive growth strategy, an acquisitive board, and other than a similar or lower budget for 2008/2009. expanded marketing department responsibilities. • Our board is unfamiliar with how much should be allocated to • Because in a hard market we will need to spend more to marketing and I am in the process of educating members on attract customers. the benefits. Also there was a management buyout last year which has made the team uneasy on spending at the moment. • Because we will need to market our product to countries outside the UK. It is interesting that ‘lack of ROI’ is cited as a reason for a cut in Over half of all respondents have seen an increase specifically within marketing investment. The ability of digital channels to provide their B2B marketing spend in the last 1-2 years – more than half of vastly improved measurement capabilities has proven to be both a these have seen an increase of more than 20%. great opportunity and significant headache for marketers in many organisations, with directors increasingly seeing any form of marketing investment that cannot be measured as wasted. The result is that such firms are only conducting marketing that can be measured, regardless of whether it is the best way of meeting organisational objectives. The push towards ROI is also undermining investment in effective targeting and creative thinking. Respondents were asked to list what they felt were the three most important current issues in B2B marketing. Some of the most common themes included: • Communication • Use and misuse of e-marketing • CRM • Measuring ROI/success • Data quality and management • Technology • Differentiation of offerings • Understanding B2B communication www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  18. 18. 1 | State of the market 1.4 Q How confident are you about the future economic climate for your organisation? 2007 28% 65% 7% 2008 26% 65% 9% Very confident Fairly confident Not very confident The majority of B2B marketers surveyed (91%) were relatively confident about the future economic climate in the context of their own business. No significant differences in these results were identified by segment. It is very interesting to note that confidence remains buoyant amongst the B2B marketing community, despite ongoing negative reporting of the economic prospects in the general media. The research was conducted at the beginning of 2008, when fears about a possible recession were already gathering momentum. The most likely reason why respondents remain bullish is probably that there is a lag between any impact on the consumer economy and business buying, and that B2B organisations had not yet begun to feel the tightening of budgets. It will be very interesting to track.
  19. 19. State of the market | 1 1.5 Q Do you expect your overall marketing spend to increase or decrease in the next 1 to 2 years? 2007 52% 38% 4% 6% 2008 64% 26% 4% 6% Increase Stay the same Decrease Don’t know 1.6 Q By what percentage? 1 – 10% 30% 11 – 20% 24% 21 – 30% 18% 31 – 40% 1% 41 – 50% 12% 51 – 60% 0% 61 – 70% 1% 71 – 80% 1% 81 – 90% 0% 91 – 100% 13% Increased www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  20. 20. 1 | State of the market
  21. 21. Targeting customers | 1 Section 2 Targeting customers The B2B sector encompasses a wide variety of industries with very different dynamics and correspondingly a disparate range of target audiences. It therefore follows that marketing to these different customer bases would also vary widely, and the authors wanted to illustrate the extent to which different medias and messages were used for different objectives, and their relative effectiveness. This section also examines the various challenges faced by marketers targeting business decision makers in different industries. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  22. 22. 20 | Targeting customers 2.1 Q Which sizes of organisation does your business target? Micro business 34% Small business 53% Medium business 71% Large business 76% It is interesting to note that most respondents are targeting larger organisations ahead of smaller ones. This may explain why confidence remains high amongst respondents, with large corporates less likely to be hit hard by growing economic uncertainly, or to reign in their spend. However, given the size of the SME community, and its collective spending power, it is possible that companies are missing opportunities to provide services to the SME sector, which is increasingly recognised as the ‘engine’ of the economy, driving most growth and creating most opportunities.
  23. 23. aker 2008 Targeting customers | 21 xtends 39% Extends ationally internationally wide /worldwide ends to 13% Extends to ean markets european markets ational/ 36% National/ the UK within the UK ithin the region 10% Within the region ithin the local area 3% Within the local area 2.2 Q Do you use different creative to target different sizes of organisation? 11-£40 million 47% Yes 58% Yes 6-£10 million 53% No 37% No 6-£10 million 2-£5 million 1 million The fact that the majority of organisations do not tailor creative to appeal to different sizes of organisation is a very interesting finding from this es 7% Not at all well informed 7% Other research. Business decision makers at SMEs behave and think in a very o different way to their counterparts in larger organisations, and will have 29% Not very well informed 19% IT different pain points. Not devising creative to appeal to these particularly ets emotional and/or rational touch-points is surprising and perhaps informed 51% Fairly well 71% Marketing worrying. It suggests a lack of willingness to invest in creative and a 13% Very well informed lack of sophistication amongst marketers. It would seem that they are region breaking one of the cardinal rules of B2B marketing: know your audience, and talk to it in a relevant and meaningful fashion. ocal area 2008 2.3 Q Do you use different channels to target different sizes of organisation? o 15% No 58% Yes es for 56% Yes for ampaigns 37% No campaigns some es for 30% Yes for paigns all campaigns 2008 sagree 26% Yes for some campaigns ll informed 7% Other gree 74% Agree ell informed 19% IT nformed 71% Marketing formed www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  24. 24. 22 | Targeting customers 2.4 Q Which channels do you use to target various sizes of organisations? The most widely used channels are as follows: MICRO BuSINESS (1-9 EMPLOYEES) MEDIuM BuSINESS (50-250 EMPLOYEES) Direct mail to existing customers 64% E-mail marketing 75% Printed brochures 62% Direct mail to potential customers 71% E-mail marketing 62% Direct mail to existing customers 67% Search engine optimisation 60% Events/Seminars 60% Direct mail to potential customers 55% Exhibitions 60% PR 60% SMALL BuSINESS (10-50 EMPLOYEES) E-mail marketing 65% LARGE BuSINESS (250+ EMPLOYEES) Direct mail to potential customers 62% Events/Seminars 75% Direct mail to existing customers 60% E-mail marketing 72% Exhibitions 57% PR 69% Printed brochures 56% Exhibitions 66% Printed brochures 65% Whilst marketers are not tailoring their creative for the audience, at top five for meeting micro-businesses. This suggests that marketers least they are tailoring the means of communication, or the channel. believe if they can engage directly with these decision makers, this However, whilst the percentages vary, there are some strong and will be crucial in generating a favourable response. In the same way, common themes. Direct mail is still considered a powerful means PR is also considered increasingly important for medium and large of reaching smaller and medium-sized companies, but not large organisations. Perhaps the view is that education is the key barrier businesses. E-mail is consistently strong across the board. Face- to marketing success for executives at companies of this level, and to-face marketing, through events or exhibitions, becomes stronger that the best means of education is via events or publications. As and stronger the further you go up the organisational hierarchy, with an addendum, it is very interesting to note that printed brochures, ‘events and seminars’ cited as the most powerful medium for reaching arguably the oldest marketing medium around, are still considered business decision makers in large organisations, but not even in the effective when dealing with buyers at both ends of the spectrum.
  25. 25. Targeting customers | 2 2.5 Q Which channels do you use to target the various sectors? The most widely used channels are as follows: fINANCIAL SERvICES PROfESSIONAL SERvICES E-mail marketing 76% E-mail marketing 64% Events/Seminars 74% Events/Seminars 50% Direct mail to potential customers 67% PR 36% CONSTRuCTION/MANufACTuRING/ IT ENGINEERING E-mail marketing 74% Events/Seminars 73% PR 56% Direct mail to potential customers 70% E-newsletters 52% Direct mail to existing customers 67% Printed brochures 52% Printed brochures 67% Exhibitions 67% OThER B2B E-mail marketing 61% BuSINESS SERvICES Printed brochures 58% E-mail marketing 79% Events/Seminars 58% Direct mail to potential customers 76% PR 70% It is unsurprising that decision makers from different industries will find This could be seen as inconsistent. PR and advertising generate different channels more appealing. E-mail is always going to be more exposure in the same channel, only one is paid for and one is not. relevant in IT because of the technology-orientation of this audience, However, given that most trade publications are funded mostly or and this is reflected by the dominance of this channel in this market. partly by advertising, their refusal to support this media financially may be its ultimate undoing, which will be to the detriment of all concerned. Meanwhile, the construction/manufacturing/engineering industries are more likely to get out to exhibitions because of the tangible nature of what they do. It is also interesting to note the continuing faith in PR as an effective channel in most sectors, despite the relatively low level of interest spend on display advertising. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  26. 26. 2 | Targeting customers 2.6 Q What issues do you face when marketing to your target markets? Construction/ Financial Prof. Business IT manufacturing/ Other B2B Services Services Services engineering Getting accurate 40% 30% 30% 50% 30% 14% sample/database Getting accurate information on the 48% 33% 36% 79% 52% 19% make-up of this audience Difficulties contacting people of the right level 29% 4% 12% 36% 45% 8% of seniority Difficulties creating 57% 44% 39% 71% 67% 25% messages Understand customers 60% 44% 36% 64% 48% 22% needs and preferences The impact of 40% 26% 30% 36% 52% 22% gatekeepers The most significant issue experienced across the board is difficulty in creating messages. This confirms that creative thinking remains a key barrier in B2B marketing. Whether this is the fault of the agencies used, or because marketers are unable or unwilling to invest sufficient budgets in it, is open to question. Undoubtedly generating messages for complex products/services that create demand and stimulate interest is challenging, but it is possible that growing fixation with ROI is distracting marketers from this key objective. Getting accurate information on the audience make-up, and understanding customer preferences are also problematic for most sectorised B2B marketing. Data is the other perennial problem in B2B marketing, and brands are consistently failing to invest in developing and maintaining accurate and meaningful customer databases. This is proving to be a major handicap to effective marketing. Perhaps surprisingly, the least problematic area across the board is believed to be contacting people of the right seniority. This could be because data regarding such individuals can be purchased readily from a number of suppliers. The extent to which the message actually influences them, however, remains open to question.
  27. 27. Marketing channels and techniques | 2 sponsored by Section 3 Marketing channels and techniques Allocation of marketing spend to different campaign media represents one of the major concerns for B2B marketers. B2B Marketing Insight sought to identify how budgets were currently being allocated, and more importantly how effective the various channels were proving. The results in this section provide a rare opportunity to compare digital and traditional techniques. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  28. 28. 2 | Marketing channels and techniques Sponsor’s comment: Integration delivers tangible results. As the B2B Marketing Insight 2008 reflects, B2B communications is flourishing and emerging from the B2C shadow. It is particularly interesting that one fifth of survey respondents are high level Owners/MDs, so clearly B2B communications is an issue resonating at board level. This survey highlights the increasing importance of brands for B2B companies with two-thirds agreeing they are just as important in the B2B realm as B2C. The brand experience can be improved through marketing communications such as customer magazines and direct mail, media which have the added capability of engaging with different senses by adding smells or sound to bring a product or service to life. Mike West Media Development Manager It is encouraging to see such a range of channels being employed to reach and connect with Royal Mail target audiences. The industry as a whole has refined its approach and is now employing a mix of traditional techniques such as mail alongside new media. At their most effective, these channels are employed in an integrated fashion rather than in isolation, allowing companies to build a strong connection with prospects. As previous research by B2B Marketing has shown, marketers’ see mail and digital as complementary channels, not interchangeable. This reflects the view of consumers themselves. Recent research by Quadrangle has shown that consumers see mail and e-mail as very different channels, each supporting the other, and working best in partnership. Consumers with a preference for both mail and e-mail communication spend on average £105 a month on goods and services after receiving a combination of the two. Clearly, effective integration of physical and virtual channels can deliver tangible results for brands. It is for these reasons that 83% of B2B marketers’ rate Direct Mail as important to their business. When it comes to acquiring high-value customers, mail is rated as a more effective tool than e-mail by survey respondents. This reflects the medium’s unique ability to build relationships, a quality that comes to the fore when mailing campaigns are at their most targeted. The future of the medium it seems will be a move towards ever tighter targeting, particularly as environment concerns grow in importance, as evidenced by the findings in this report. Royal Mail is developing a number of leading-edge solutions for green-conscious mailers – such as Carbon Neutral Mailing, a joint scheme with the Woodland Trust – it has long been clear that the twin goals of improved efficiency and reduced environmental impact are closely aligned.
  29. 29. Marketing channels and techniques | 2 3.1 Q Which channels have you used for B2B marketing in the last 12 months? print communications For the purposes of analysis, we have divided the results for this question into three areas of B2B communications – print, digital and Printed brochures 73% face-to-face, together with a catch-all category called “other”. DM to existing customers 71% DM to potential customers 71% It is clear from the chart opposite that events is the most popular of Printed newsletters 38% the three main types of communications used, with each media in this group being used by an average of 58% of respondents. Close behind PR 68% is print media, with 54%. Outdoor 8% Press advertising 47% What is most surprising, however, is the relatively low level of usage of Average 54% digital techniques – despite the hype to the contrary, this remains the least used of all three groups. digital communications Of course, this conclusion is a broad generalisation and arguably obscures the true picture. E-mail, predictably, remains the most E-brochures 52% popular individual route to market, whilst mobile remains little used E-mail marketing 76% in B2B and podcasts remain a niche tool. Creating an average from Mobile marketing 5% these three would therefore bring the overall score down. E-newsletters 53% What it does suggest, however, is that the much-vaunted migration On-line button/banners ads 35% to digital is less advanced than many may claim and that all mediums Podcasts 14% have their merits. Search Engine Optimisation 54% Promotional DVD’s 16% Viral marketing 13% Webinar 18% Average 34% face-to-face communications Corporate hospitality 48% Events/seminars 64% Exhibitions 62% Average 58% other Broadcast advertising 11% Sponsorship 32% Telemarketing 46% Other 9% Average 25% www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  30. 30. 2 | Marketing channels and techniques 3.2 Q What percentage of your B2B marketing budget do you currently spend on the following? print communications It is interesting to note that telemarketing received the largest single share of budget on average for respondents. The ability to directly Printed brochures 12% measure and track telemarketing investment is likely to be a key DM to existing customers 9.6% factor in its popularity. It was also interesting to note the strong level DM to potential customers 10.3% of interest in exhibitions and events, which came second and third in Printed newsletters 5.6% terms of budget allocation. Like telemarketing, face-to-face marketing PR 11.1% also delivers high levels of trackability and therefore ROI, but unlike Outdoor 3.1% telemarketing they can also require high set up costs, for example, in designing exhibition stands or booking venues for bespoke events. Press advertising 11% Average 9% Across the board, the majority of respondents in each category allocate between 1-10% of their budgets to their chosen channel(s). The graph opposite shows the percentage of respondents that spend digital communications between 1-10% of their B2B marketing budget within each channel. E-brochures 5.9% Therefore the high levels of budget allocation may not correspond E-mail marketing 9.7% directly with effectiveness. It should also be noted that because Mobile marketing 6.1% e-mail is divided into three separate categories (e-mail, e-newsletters E-newsletters 3.4% and viral marketing) this obscures the true popularity of this medium. On-line button/banners ads 6.1% If the figures were combined it would certainly be a close rival to Podcasts 2% telemarketing. Perhaps the most significant thing demonstrated by Search Engine Optimisation 9.2% this chart is the sheer range of activities which attract a significant Promotional DVD’s 5.2% proportion of marketers’ budgets – even podcasts can claim an average of 2% of overall budgets. Viral marketing 3.9% Webinar 5% Average 5.6% face-to-face communications Corporate hospitality 12.3% Events/seminars 13.5% Exhibitions 15.1% Average 13.6% other Broadcast advertising 5.5% Sponsorship 6.9% Telemarketing 16.5% Other 15.1% Average 11%
  31. 31. Marketing channels and techniques | 2 3.3 Q Which channels have you found to be the most and least effective? print communications face-to-face communications 7% 4% Printed brochures Corporate hospitality 9% 4% 7% 13% DM to existing customers Events/seminars 3% 3% 4% 7% DM to potential customers Exhibitions 15% 9% 1% Printed newsletters 1% 11% other PR 4% Broadcast advertising 1% 3% Outdoor 1% 0% Sponsorship 1% 4% Press advertising 16% 10% Telemarketing 9% 1% digital communications Other 0% 3% E-brochures 1% 17% E-mail marketing 12% 0% Mobile marketing 0% 1% E-newsletters 1% 1% On-line button/banners ads 6% Podcasts 0% This chart offers a marked contrast to the previous ones, 1% demonstrating that in terms of effectiveness, e-mail is ahead of other 8% Search Engine Optimisation media. In fact, only events/seminars come close. 4% Promotional DVD’s 10% Telemarketing and PR both fair well, but all forms of print media 0% perform badly. The reason for this is certainly that respondents were 1% Viral marketing 0% illustrating which media they could prove was most effective through measurement techniques and technologies, rather than which was 0% Webinar most effective per se. This is an important distinction to make. 0% Least Effective Most Effective www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  32. 32. 0 | Marketing channels and techniques 3.4 Q What channel have you allocated the largest amount of marketing budget to? print communications Exhibitions and printed brochures were most commonly nominated at attracting the largest share of budget. This is probably more Printed brochures 13% reflective of the high set-up costs for these channels than marketeers’ DM to existing customers 8% preference for them. DM to potential customers 7% Printed newsletters 1% PR 7% Press advertising 5% digital communications E-brochures 3% E-mail marketing 6% Mobile marketing 0% E-newsletters 0% On-line button/banners ads 2% Podcasts 0% Search Engine Optimisation 4% Promotional DVD’s 1% Viral marketing 1% Webinar 0% face-to-face communications Corporate hospitality 6% Events/seminars 10% Exhibitions 15% other Broadcast advertising 2% Sponsorship 2% Telemarketing 7%
  33. 33. Marketing channels and techniques | 1 3.5 Q Which channels do you expect to allocate a greater proportion of your budget to over the next 1-2 years? print communications Printed brochures 15% 7% DM 33% 33% Printed newsletters 10% 3% PR 23% 23% Outdoor 1% 1% Press advertising 9% 8% digital communications E-mail marketing/e-newsletters 49% 60% Mobile marketing 2% 5% On-line button/banners ads 21% 13% Podcasts n/a 5% Search Engine Optimisation 29% 29% Viral marketing 8% 10% Webinar n/a 13% face-to-face communications Corporate hospitality 16% 11% Events/seminars 30% 24% Exhibitions 17% 14% other Broadcast advertising 1% 1% Insight 2007 Sponsorship 5% 7% Telemarketing 23% 17% Insight 2008 According to this graph, the shift in emphasis towards e-mail is fundamental role in B2B communications strategies. However, interest actually accelerating, with 60% of respondents expecting to allocate in printed brochures dropped significantly, which is hardly surprising. more budget to this channel in the coming years, compared to 49% Meanwhile, both events/seminars and telemarketing actually lost in 2007. However, this budget is not necessarily migrating directly ground on the previous year with fewer B2B marketers expecting to from traditional media – the future for DM looks bright, with 33% of increase their investment in it, although it is clear that both continue to companies expecting to increase spend on it, the same figure as last be widely used. More curiously, interest in online advertising appeared year, placing it second in the table as last year also. Press advertising to be trailing off, with respondents expecting to invest more budget in also remained relatively static year-on-year, as did PR and search it in the next 1-2 years dropping by a third. Perhaps this form of digital marketing, despite its rapid evolution and increasing recognition of its marketing is simply not targeted enough to appeal to B2B marketers. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  34. 34. 2 | Marketing channels and techniques
  35. 35. Digital marketing | Section 4 Digital marketing Digital media is becoming an increasingly important part of the B2B marketing mix, with websites, e-mail and search marketing etc. increasingly threatening to take over from traditional techniques as the primary route to market. A key objective of this report was to track the gradual migration towards digital techniques, and marketers’ understanding of how best to utilise them. The findings demonstrate that the hype about digital techniques is not necessarily reflected by reality. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  36. 36. he local area 3% Within the local area | Digital marketing million 47% Yes 58% Yes million 53% No 37% No million illion on 4.1 Q How informed are you on the latest advances in digital marketing techniques? 7% Not at all well informed 7% Other 29% Not very well informed 19% IT 51% Fairly well informed 71% Marketing 13% Very well informed Over 35% of respondents describe themselves as not very well informed or ‘not at all well informed’ regarding digital marketing 2008 issues, according to the research. There is clearly still an information 15% No gap within B2B marketing, and practitioners must take advantage of the various information providers to leverage the information required. 56% Yes for gns some campaigns 30% Yes for s all campaigns 4.2 Q To what extent are you using digital marketing channels in B2B communications? 2007 25% 21% 31% 18% 5% 2008 22% 24% 13% 31% 8% 2008 e 26% Yes for some campaigns To a great extent To some extent A fair amount Not a great deal Not at all 74% Agree Similarly, the application of digital techniques appears to have declined since 2007, with now 40% of respondents using them either ‘not at all’ or ‘not a great deal’. This is likely to reflect the change in participant group, with more smaller organisations completing the survey, who have less marketing expertise. But it may also reflect the increasing pace of change and innovation in terms of digital techniques, which puts greater and greater pressure on practitioners to 2008 up-to-speed with developments. keep e 51% Disagree 49% Agree
  37. 37. Digital marketing | 4.3 Q What are the main objectives for your digital marketing? 64% Awareness raising 69% Customer relationship 34% management 37% 25% Customer retention 33% 0% Sales 45% 54% Driving traffic to website 51% 0% Channel relationships 14% 19% Information gathering 19% 54% Lead generation 56% 2007 40% Product/service promotion 41% 2008 In keeping with the 2007 results, the main objectives of digital marketing continue to be awareness raising, lead generation and driving traffic to the company website. The use of digital channels to drive direct sales was not tracked by last year’s survey, but this year’s results demonstrate that it is a very popular technique for this objective, used by almost 50% of respondents. The biggest growth in terms of objectives for digital marketing is customer retention, which is likely to be a reflection of growing understanding of the power of e-mail marketing as a relationship device, whilst at the same time its effectiveness for building new customers is being detrimentally affected by inbox overload. Further to this, it is arguably surprising that ‘awareness raising’ through digital techniques grew in this period – it would seem that the lure of cheap and quick communications remains more of a draw than any concerns over commoditisation of this channel. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  38. 38. | Digital marketing 4.4 Q What are the unique challenges in making effective use of digital marketing techniques? Understanding of 19% digital media 65% 0% Integrating with offline 47% 31% Access to e-mail data 33% n Firewalls/ 25% rea Internet Security 35% Cutting through 37% inbox clutter 60% 1% Browser compatibility 11% 2007 58% Yes 37% No 2008 Concern over the growing faith in e-mail is reflected in this statistic, with ‘cutting through inbox clutter’ rising from a modest 37% to a significant 60%. General concerns regarding understanding of digital media have trebled to almost two thirds of responses, whilst the current buzzword of online-offline integration was not touched on last year, but was revealed to be an issue by almost half of respondents. 4.5 Q Which department has responsibility for your website? ormed 7% Other formed 19% IT med 71% Marketing ed The overwhelming majority of B2B firms task marketing with the responsibility for managing their websites, according to the research, demonstrating that the web is recognised as the marketing front end for the business.
  39. 39. Digital marketing | 4.6 Q What techniques do you use to drive traffic to your website? 33% Banner advertising 35% 61% E-shots/e-newsletter 59% Links through 57% on-line directories 40% 54% Off-line advertising 44% 28% Paid searches 34% 69% Search engine optimisation 66% Website address included 87% on all communications 78% 2007 3% None 6% 2008 Curiously, most companies are reducing the number of techniques that they use to drive traffic to their sites, with only paid searches and banner advertising actually increasing in the last 12 months, according to the research. Admittedly, apart from ‘offline advertising’ none has declined significantly, but it is a perplexing statistic none the less. This may be because companies are choosing to channel more of their investment in to one or two channels, and achieve better results through them, than to adopt the scatter-gun approach of doing everything badly. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  40. 40. | Digital marketing 4.7 Q Do you see a use for the following techniques in your B2B marketing in the next 2 to 3 years? Blogging 20% 29% 29% 14% 8% Podcasts 20% 27% 32% 15% 6% Webinars 24% 36% 21% 10% 9% Web TV 8% 17% 39% 25% 11% Definitely Probably Probably not Definitely not Don’t know Attitudes towards digital techniques remain very mixed in the B2B sector, with only webinars attracting a majority of positive respondents. 62% of respondents suggested they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ see a use for webinars over the next 2-3 years, whilst only 31% responded negatively. Blogging was next most popular, with 49% responding positively to it as a future channel, against 43% who were negative about it. The fate of podcasts hangs in the balance, with an equal number positive and negative; whilst attitudes towards web TV were more negative, although this is almost certainly reflective of the more niche nature of this medium, which is less suited towards smaller brands with smaller budgets. Overall, this question highlighted the general lack of faith in all the digital channels covered, which is likely to be a result of low levels of understanding of how they should be used and the intricacies of putting them into practice.
  41. 41. Marketing effectiveness | Section 5 Marketing effectiveness Marketers in all sectors are under growing pressure to prove the effectiveness of their activity, to demonstrate ROI on marketing activity and ultimately prove their worth to the organisation. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the authors were anxious to understand the extent to which B2B marketers felt they were able to achieve this objective effectively. Once again, the report shows that current measurement techniques leave much to be desired. www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk
  42. 42. 26% £1 million 0 | Marketing effectiveness 35% Yes 7% Not at all well informed 65% No 29% Not very well informed 51% Fairly well informed 13% Very well informed 5.1 Q Are you able to track and analyse your direct marketing campaigns to measure their effectiveness? 2007 2008 13% No 15% No 50% Yes for 56% Yes for some campaigns some campaigns 37% Yes for 30% Yes for all campaigns all campaigns Results for this question varied little year-on-year, and demonstrated 2007 2008 that there remains a residual component of direct marketing activity which is not measurable. Whether marketers should seek to make 27% Disagree 26% Yes for some campaigns all direct marketing 100% measurable at the expense of all other 74% Agree factors is a moot point, and arguably measurability73% Agree always should not compromise messaging. 2007 2008 48% Disagree 51% Disagree 52% Agree 49% Agree 12% Don't know 5% Don't know 54% No 6% No 34% Yes 89% Yes
  43. 43. 26% £1 million 13% Very well informed Marketing effectiveness | 1 35% Yes 7% Not at all well informed 2007 2008 65% No 29% Not very well informed 13% No 15% No 50% Yes for 51% Fairly well informed 56% Yes for some campaigns some campaigns 37% Yes for 13% Very well informed 30% Yes for all campaigns all campaigns 5.2 Q Do you agree or disagree with the following statements related to your marketing function? The marketing function’s performance is ultimately assessed on its return on investment. 2007 2008 2007 13% No 2008 15% No 27% Yes for 50% Disagree 56% 26% Yes for some campaigns some campaigns some campaigns 73% Yes for 37% Agree 74% Yes for 30% Agree all campaigns all campaigns 2007 2008 It remains the view of B2B marketers that success within the pressure on marketers to deliver ROI. It is undoubtedly a cause 2007 27% Disagree 2008 26% Yes for some campaigns marketing function is assessed on return on investment. Despite of frustration to marketers and other senior executives that more this, only half of respondents (49%) feel that they are able to evaluate 48% Disagree 73% Agree marketing investment cannot be tracked better and ROI Disagree 74% calculated. 51% Agree the success of campaigns and initiatives. This reflects the ongoing The extent to which this will ever be possible let alone practical is 52% Agree 49% Agree debatable, as is the mounting obsession with measurement. We have systems in place to review the success of any campaigns or initiatives on a real time, continuous basis 2007 2008 48% Disagree 51% Disagree 52% Agree 12% Don't know 49% Agree 5% Don't know 54% No 6% No 34% Yes 89% Yes 12% Don't know 5% Don't know 8% Don't know 11% Don't know 54% No 6% No 49% No 4% Internet www.b2bm.biz www.gyrointernational.com www.maven.co.uk 34% Yes 89% Yes 33% Yes 25% Newspaper